Lightening Your Overheads – XL LED Test

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We’ve had our big Telos-cope trained on County Durham this past few months, admiring the progress of a bunch of LED luminaries using AutoPot to test some fascinating kit. Telos got in touch at the start of the year, keen to see just how potent the combo of their Pro10 Mesh could be with XL modules. They also quite fancied giving their staff a little bit of ‘extra-curricular’; showing every member of the team, from the office to the warehouse to the production department, what a joyful doddle growing can be. How’s it all been going then? Gleefully greeted glimpses of growth galore giving gardening greenhorns gusto or a bloody staff mutiny?

Above: The ‘Aqua Alhambra’ – a fortress-like collapsible FlexiTank reservoir keeping the test grow at Telos HQ nicely irrigated and fed

Amiable and easy to grasp, the XL modules have instilled plenty of confidence in even those Telos staff completely new to growing, as Kieran, Telos’ Application Engineer, reports. ‘The system and all its simplicity has removed a lot of effort on our part, we’ve even had one of our team with next to no growing experience happily looking after the AutoPots when I’m out of the office.’ On the performance-oriented end of the test the modules have also yielded insights aplenty.

Above: Telos 10 Pro Mesh not only offers superb, low overhead lighting but is also remotely programmable thanks to its Bluetooth functionality

Kieran’s further perspectives on the test are pretty interesting, and include many a sage word for growers trying to fathom required floorspace. ‘To be honest, when we first germinated the seeds, I really didn’t think that 8 pots would be enough to fill the tent. Owing to the location of the tent we ended up needing space for a heater and humidifier so we ended up running 6 pots in a 2.4 x 1.2m tent – and it’s absolutely rammed now!’ This explosive growth has been all the more reassuring given some initial jitters about the grow media of choice. 

‘I was slightly nervous about using coco as most of the team are experienced with soil. But we’ve stuck with (AutoPot MD) Jason’s advice and the results have been spectacular. Using Shogun’s specific range of coco nutrients I’ve been filling the reservoir to around 450-550ppm and pH 5.8-5.9, so far with zero deficiencies. The plants have just started to produce fruits but are still vigorously growing and stretching. I’ve had to raise our lights multiple times.’

Above: The fullness of the tent is of little consquence where maintenance access is concerned – Telos have reported little or no intervention required with the power-free modules

Happily, with such a bustling, bushy grow tent, upkeep on the systems hasn’t been an issue. Kieran reports that, ‘as expected, once setup and in position, maintenance has been minimal. With just occasional checks underneath the AQUAvalve covers to make sure no plant matter has found its way in.’ 

The ease with which all this has been achieved has also inspired the team to propose some future evolutions of the Telos grow room. Such changes can easily be made thanks to the modular design of the AutoPot system. ‘We are thinking about extending the feed line to a separate grow tent that will house some interesting rare house plants.’

Above: Now and then, with minimal fuss and often under inexperienced supervision the plants have filled out beautifully in the XL modules

Overall the guys have created the model, easy-to-use high performance grow tent. Light on energy consumption, low on heat emission, and nowadays every bit as capable as HPS, LEDs produced by the likes of Telos are like a long-sought growers grail, finally proven to be the genuine article. In the case of Pro10 Mesh Telos have incorporated Bluetooth scheduling controls on their units, allowing you to grow-on-the-go with ease. The plants certainly seem to be in their element and are packed with potential, we can’t wait to see them start bearing colourful fruit!

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